The Carceral Web: Overview of laws affecting migrant sex workers

Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network) and the HIV Legal Network recognize sex work is work and respect the agency of sex workers and migrants. We also recognize the harms caused by criminalization, policing, and laws and policies that discriminate against migrant sex workers. We fight for the dignity, rights, and justice of migrant sex workers.

Migrant sex workers are affected by laws and policies created by different levels of government (e.g. immigration laws, criminal laws related to sex work and human trafficking, and municipal laws). It is important for migrant sex workers and service providers to know about these laws and their impacts.

This document provides an overview of these laws and illustrates their impact through personal stories shared by migrant sex workers about how they are affected by the laws. Migrant sex workers shared these experiences with Butterfly staff and researchers.